Ukraine Rebels Hope to Recruit 100,000 Fighters

Growing Confidence as Rebels Gain Ground Across Donetsk

Since the ceasefire collapsed last month, the Eastern Ukraine rebels have had a decided advantage, fending off military offensives and launching counter-offensives of their own to retake formerly lost parts of the Donetsk Oblast.

The boosted morale has the rebels talking about growing, and taking more territory, with one of their top leaders saying he aims to see the force recruit 100,000 fighters.

The military has also been talking up increasing its conscription, with an eye on massing more troops into the east. Both sides seem to believe that a settlement of the conflict means military victory.

The rebels are saying they’re no longer willing to hold ceasefire talks at any time, and instead say they’re conditioning future negotiations on the military declaring a ceasefire first.

That doesn’t seem likely on either side, as the Ukrainian government has similarly tried to place all sorts of conditions on a ceasefire, and for now it seems neither is particularly open to a diplomatic settlement.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.